Over 1350 people have responded to the Elm Street Economy Sustainable Livelihoods survey since we put it up in 2009. The survey seeks to find out how secure people feel about the future of their current career path.
To determine this we asked a series of questions about how well respondents thought their career would hold up to the eight criteria we believe predict how enduring a particular career will be as our country shifts to an increasingly localized economy.
Here are findings to date to date:
First survey results to date show people are optimistic about their own careers. 80% believe what they do will still be in demand in five years.
- Contributing to this belief is more than half (53%) say their job or work serves a non-discretionary basic need in their own or a nearby community. About the same number (54%) believe their skills are readily barterable.
- Better than half (55%) believe they can do their work virtually, that is serve an employer or clients and customers located anywhere.
- Three out of four respondents state their work can be done independently from home.
- Only out of four people are concerned their work might be subject to being replaced by technology or being off-shored, but four out of think their work is not vulnerable to these forces.
- Two out of three respondents say that the supplies and materials they need to their work are available locally and affordably.
- Fewer than half (47%) identify with the term “Main Street Economy” and 58% think an “Elm Street Economy” is different than a Main Street Economy.
But most interesting is that after taking the survey, three out of ten people said their assessment of the future of their job or training had changed.
So what does this mean? If management guru Tom Peters is correct in his prediction that most of the white and pink collar jobs we now hold will no longer exist within the near feature, then our respondents either:
- do not reflect the majority of American workers – most of whom who work in some form for management, technology, service, entertainment and retail or
- Our survey is reaching a very narrow segment of the US population who have already positioned themselves for the dramatic changes that are underway in response to a weakening national and global economy, rising shortages and higher costs of natural resources and significant climate change.
- A third of those responding “woke up” to the new reality for the future of their careers by taking the survey.
The changes taking place in our world today are leading to as profound a shift in regard to work as when human kind stopped hunting and gathering and began farming or when we left the farmlands to work in factories and high rises.
To secure our future well-being we all need to think honestly about if the current jobs we have been trained for and hold actually involve meeting basic needs, could be carried out at home independently without an employer, serves their own or a close existing neighborhood, has all the materials they produced nearby and can be easily bartered.
To discover the type of livelihoods we believe will make us secure for the future we offer courses Finding a Sustainable Livelihood obtainable from PostPeakLiving.com and soon by the Learning Annex that feature 200+ Sustainable Livelihoods for a secure tomorrow. An additional resource will be our soon to be released Working From Home Encyclopedia as an interactive eBook.
Comments on the substance of the blogs are welcome. If you have other questions, please contact me directly for a consulting appointment.